Lewis author unveils new novel

Award winning author Donald Murray.

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A son of the Hebrides, Donald S. Murray is about to publish a new novel.

The writer and poet, whose work has been shortlisted for both the Saltire Literary Awards and the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award, will see his new book, In a Veil of Mist, published on March 11.

The story centres on some top-secret biological warfare experiments that were undertaken in the waters off the Isle of Lewis in the 1950s, on a floating laboratory called the Ben Lomond.

In the novel, Donald draws upon his own memories growing up on Lewis, as well as rumours, half-truths and whispers he overheard linked to the stories of the experiments.

Operation Cauldron, 1952: Top-secret germ warfare experiments on monkeys and guinea pigs are taking place aboard a vessel moored off the Isle of Lewis.

Local villagers Jessie and Duncan encounter strange sights on the deserted beach nearby and suspect the worst. And one government scientist wrestles with his own inner anguish over the testing, even if he believes extreme deterrent weapons are needed.

When a noxious cloud of plague bacteria is released into the path of a passing
trawler, disaster threatens. Will a deadly pandemic be inevitable?

A haunting exploration of the costs and fallout of warmongering, Donald S. Murray follows his prize-winning first novel with an equally moving exploration of another little-known incident in the Outer Hebridean island where he grew up.